Dirt Floors and Ginger

February 26, 2022

I disliked Cozumel with a passion, and my shoulders rose an inch. Warning bells bounced around my brain.

I knew this was going to be a place that drained my soul from me as I skirted around obnoxious touts selling ridiculously priced tours – 14 people on a small boat – COVID restrictions relaxed, breeding grounds, small talk, and lots of beer.

We stepped foot on the island, and horror descended on me.

Cruise ships were throwing up their passengers in Hawaiian print shirts with bellies that overflowed their pant tops as they headed to Hooters or Señor Frog’s, and The Hard Rock Cafe for watered-down margaritas and chips gouging out from the fake guacamole bowl.

We were here for 6 long days. We had read blogs, seen bright cheerful pictures.

But the reality washed over me, and I cringed.

My mind sunk by the minute. I hit Glenn with my abruptness and scorn, becoming a miserable being for him to deal with.

I am not one who keeps things inside.

There was only one event that brought some joy to the days.

We drove a funky buggy around the island and check out its Instagram “famed” beaches. Without doors and having to be scooted into, this buggy put romance in the equation. We were on some dirt roads, hallelujah! Memories filtered through. I felt myself again – for an afternoon. I felt intrepid.

Instagram is not truthful. We saw no single palm trees on a pristine beach to climb and sit upon the trunk, watching the sun sink and having the photo taken.

I wanted off the island.

I grabbed my camera each day and beamed myself into photographer mode. That is how I coped. Searching the streets and buildings for murals and electric meters, developing a photo essay for down the road. The electric meters of Mexico are characters in a play, surrounded by beauty or chaos. It is how I got through our days.

There is always focus in stories. See a place as having a story to tell and there is some saving going on.

Days later, brightness. The taxi came to return us to the ferry, which took us back to the mainland, where we grabbed a taxi to the Cancun airport, boarded our plane, and awaited take-off.

It is not that we won’t go back to parts of the Yucatan. But we will be more selective. Our three travel months in Southern Mexico are reconnaissance and sussing out, giving stars, ticking boxes. We tick Bacalar.

After two flights and another taxi, I reached my urgent care facility – Brisas de Zicatela.

On the way to town, we cruised past Mexico as we know it. Rough edges, warm people.

We bounced on the dirt roads to our Airbnb. I smelled dirt in the air. And I breathed deep.

Our “home” for the week – a rooftop! That’s right – our Airbnb is a boho roof with a separate bedroom sporting windows on three sides that we leave open and keep the fans on.

The roof sports a nice sized kitchen table and chairs, a huge turquoise bean bag, and a bright daybed in the very front covered with an awning. There is a small kitchenette with a fridge for our wine and coffee – essentials. They conveniently placed it between the living area and the bedroom. We don’t have far to fill up a glass. And the splendid sunsets each night deserve a toast or two with my soul mate and amour.

Sauntering out to dinner on our first night, we eased into a bit of a time warp. Were we in South East Asia? Goa, India? The atmosphere triggered memories.

Was that pot in the midst of ginger? We floated through hazes. Everyone was mellow, stoned or not.

I have fashion envy. Laid-back beaches bring out the cutest of togs. Floaty long dresses, sans backs (nope, my back still looks like a hilly landscape, but I love looking), thong bikinis (that is a no too), Indian prints, wrapped skirts with skimpy tops, and NO shoes.

I love this! We love this.

How can you not feel inhibitions drift away?

We chose a Peruvian restaurant that night, dirt floors, bare feet waitstaff, dogs in slumber, yummy food, ginger, damn fun music – yes, I chair danced; people kept turning towards me, bewildered? I didn’t care. Chair dancing is liberating!

This whole little town is liberating.

Music sets the mood, color, and sound of the surf, accompanies nicely. It is a sensory concert.

Don’t worry if you are over the medium age of probably thirty. Brisas made us shed some layers.

Since we moved to Mexico, we have been ridding ourselves of them. We shed our skin repeatedly to allow for further growth. Peeling layers that don’t fit. Like a lizard, they come away in pieces. All growth is not automatic.

Glenn shed some of his inhibitions – he didn’t wear a shirt most of the week. There were times he let the slight breeze envelope his whole body – the rooftop was “secluded.”

Now that is a statement on relaxation.

That is Brisas de Zicatela.

For more details and information for Brisas de Zicatela and its surroundings check out Trip Advisor, but don’t let it dictate,  explore a bit.

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  • Reply David Hall February 27, 2022 at 5:04 am

    Descriptive writing, beautiful pictures, and the sense of wonder flow throughout the story. Your stories stand alone, yet I am confident that in a year or two you will compile the individual stories into a book along with additional commentary about your impressions as you traveled through the magnificent country called Mexico. By the way, what program or app are you writing your wonderful stories and publishing your beautiful pictures?

    • Reply ourprimeoflife March 1, 2022 at 3:48 am

      Hola David, Thank you so much for your lovely words. Yes, another book (I am still working on the memoirs) will be compiled in the future. We would love to share our love of Mexico with a larger audience. As for the platform we use – it is WordPress, with the theme (Hemlock) from Solopine.

  • Reply Joe February 26, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Brisas sounds lovely– and just what you need after Cozumel

    • Reply ourprimeoflife February 27, 2022 at 4:03 pm

      You are so right. Our week in Cozumel was a disaster. I couldn’t get out fast enough. Our motto now – no place with cruise ships. Ugh. Now in Puerto Angel, a very small traditional Mexican fishing village and it is marvelous!

  • Reply Anne Bader February 26, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    Wonderful. I bet you guys would love Brazil. Have you been??
    Keep posting! I am enjoying your travels!!

    • Reply ourprimeoflife March 1, 2022 at 3:39 am

      Hi Anne, Glenn has been to Brazil but I haven’t. It is on the list for some time in the future.

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